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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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DevastatedDee posted 3/19/2021 08:43 AM

I assume it's as great as the reviews for prostitutes on backpage that used to exist. I was lucky enough to stumble upon those way back in the post-DDay time.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 3/19/2021 12:14 PM

I'll admit, I snooped. I didn't go so far as to sign up, which means I can't actually view/read any of the reviews. But you can clearly see names of different parlors, along with the names of the "masseuse" and the dates of their "service."

Apparently the people who frequent these establishments call themselves either "hobbyists" or "mongers."

There is even a discussion board, and while I couldn't open the actual discussion, the topic of one was "Mongers should lay flowers at the establishments where these tragedies occurred" or something along those lines (I'm quoting from memory, not verbatim).

And unfortunately, all 3 of the spas where the attacks occurred have multiple reviews on this site. Recent ones, too. I'm not saying they don't conduct legitimate business as well, but I don't see why people would write a review on a site such as that one if there wasn't illicit activity happening.

Oh, and the Aroma Therapy Spa? If you have the stomach for it, check out their site. They're not even trying to hide it. It's about as blatant of an advertisement for a rub and tug massage parlor as I could imagine. Think stereotypical Glamour shots style headshots of the girls, and not-so-thinly-veiled innuendo.

The only text on the page reads: "Escape from the stress 🤦‍♂️ and reward yourself 💆‍♂️ with us. We can give you 💁‍♀️ amazing aroma energy charms for love 💝, luck 🤗 and more... Shhh... 🤫🤫🤫 It's secret!"

Not to mention if you see images of the business in question, all of the windows are lined with red lights, there are two signs with 3 red arrows each pointing down towards the entrance on either side of the business sign.

The other spas might conduct more legitimate business at other times, but this one looks like it's straight out of a stereotypical red light district. To the extreme where I would think that the image that's being used for a few different articles, with the red lights all lit, was a stock photo used in cases of massage parlor raids. Except that the parlor's own website displays an image that confirms this is the exact same location. They're just trying to be "discreet" by not having the red lights turned on in the photo on their site.

I do 100% agree that this has to do with race. And the fact that at least one is very clearly a massage parlor does not make it OK for him to do what he did. No victim blaming here whatsoever! Those things can be true, AND we can still miss the point of the discussion by only focusing on one aspect of this crime.

A person can be a racist AND a sex addict, and those are two different conversations, but only one is happening. It's important people realize that Asians have suffered terrible hate crimes in the past year. And it's also important to get sex addiction come out of the closet and into the conversation. SAs who want treatment can't afford 100K. We spouses need support systems.

I agree with you BlackRaven, the refusal to discuss sex addiction as a very real thing cripples our ability to effectively deal with it. I don't think they necessarily have to be separate conversations, but you hit the nail on the head there, sex addiction - and the inherent misogyny, and often racism, tied into that - need to be out in the open and part of the broader discussion.

Context matters! Do I think this guy can be lumped in with the rise in hate crimes towards Asians stemming from all of the bullshit "Kung Flu" and "China Virus" rhetoric? No, not in that way specifically. He doesn't appear to be someone ranting and raving over how "they" have caused the pandemic or what have you. What he does seem like is a guy who is ok with objectifying women of certain descent, and that is 100% racist.

Look, the venn diagram of men who visit massage parlors and men who are racist is probably closer to a circle. But I think only focusing on the racist angle is doing everyone a disservice. It's like if someone rapes and murders someone, and the news only refers to him as either a rapist, or as a murderer. He can be both! These two issues are inextricably linked, and we can't pretend they aren't!

Edited to add, for transparency: I researched these specific spas AFTER I posted on the other thread about how they might not necessarily be massage parlors, and that it is wrong for us to assume that. I initially begun looking into it because I wanted to do my due diligence and check my own confirmation bias. Because after seeing "massage parlor" in the headlines, I jumped to the conclusion that they provided sexual services.

I do NOT think it is fair that Asian owned/staffed businesses are automatically perceived as being illicit. AND, after digging in, I can confidently say I also believe that at least one of the businesses in question was in fact, a front for sex work. And I'm fairly confident the other two are as well, though I would need more evidence to convince me fully.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 12:26 PM, March 19th (Friday)]

Venus1 posted 3/19/2021 15:50 PM

My WH had an EA/PA with a woman he met on a pornographic website (thri.xxx). Additionally, he had 27 'friends' on his profile that he sexted with, had virtual sex with, and played 3D sex games with. My WH has always had a high sex drive, but I'm questioning if he has some sort of porn or sex addiction, as I had no idea he was into 3D sex games or the type of porn he engaged in.
He has used pornography and sex as a way to escape from his emotional issues, stress and anxiety, and he is participating in high risk behaviors (affair, not seeing how high risk it was to give me an STD, didn't care if she got pregnant, etc.). And he has engaged in the online pornography website during work. Can someone tell me how I can discern if my WH has a porn or sex addiction? I can't get over the fact that he has chosen a 5 cent cam whore on a porn site over me ... and every time porn comes up I just get sick to my stomach because of how my WH infidelity came about.

[This message edited by Venus1 at 3:53 PM, March 19th (Friday)]

DevastatedDee posted 3/19/2021 16:46 PM

Can someone tell me how I can discern if my WH has a porn or sex addiction?

I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with this. It's truly awful.

Does it matter whether he has an actual addiction or not?

HeHadADoubleLife posted 3/19/2021 17:02 PM

Hi Venus!

Does it matter whether he has an actual addiction or not?
To piggy back off of this, does it matter to you if it is an addiction or not? Will that change your course of action? Does that change your level of tolerance for his behaviors?

I'm trying to spin the focus on yourself. So maybe the better question is do you identify as the spouse of a sex addict? The best way to determine that is to analyze your own feelings about the behaviors. Does the literature you've read ring true to you? Does reading our stories give you a pang of recognition? If so, is that recognition uncomfortable? Validating? Both?

Whether or not he is a "true" addict is unfortunately kind of irrelevant, at least in terms of changing his behavior. Because only he is in control of his own actions. If identifying as an addict is his impetus for change then that's great! But you can't drag him kicking and screaming to get a diagnosis and/or seek treatment, he has to want that.

So what will help you the most? Does seeking out support for yourself from groups like this one aid you in your healing? If so, then stick with us.

It may be helpful to you to read through this thread and see if you identify heavily with any of the thoughts/feelings expressed here. It may help you to sort out your own feelings on what you've experienced.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 5:03 PM, March 19th (Friday)]

crazyblindsided posted 3/19/2021 17:45 PM

Does it matter whether he has an actual addiction or not?

Exactly my STBX did not get diagnosed as SA. He was diagnosed with strong narcissistic tendencies. He was also addicted to porn, had fetishes that I was not into, super high sex drive that he used as self-soothing mostly, made me feel like a blow-up doll, saw escorts and live-web cam girls. Had A's. I think I only know the tip of the iceberg he is sexually depraved and I am thoroughly repulsed and disgusted by him.

DevastatedDee posted 3/20/2021 13:08 PM

Thank you, HHADL. That's what I was getting at. I don't know whether my XWH had an actual sex addiction or was just your typical asshole serial cheater and it doesn't really matter because the actions were the same. If I got too much into his motivations, that would have interfered with my healing. It wouldn't change what he did anymore than it would change what yours did, Venus1. The focus in the aftermath of so much trauma has to be on us and what we find acceptable or not. I took comfort in finding others who had SA or serial cheating spouses because regardless of the cause, we have all been through the same thing. Sex addiction isn't anymore of an excuse for wrecking your spouse than just plain being an entitled asshole. There's a lot of overlap in those two issues.

Lionne posted 3/20/2021 17:40 PM

IMHO the only benefit to an official diagnosis is if the addict admits the problem and wants to work a 12 step program. In my mind, that is the only way to hope for any kind of normalcy and it's far from a final fix. It provides tools for an addict only. It's just up to them.
Too often, there is a comorbid diagnosis, NPD, BP, etc. The benefit of that is that mental health services can be justified to an insurance company.

The DSM-5 is a political statement. While I respect the need for true research, and that's their main reason for denying sex addiction as a pathology, I am reminded (and infuriated) that, not so many years ago, autism was labeled by the then current DSM, as caused by the mother's inability to bond with a child. SMH

MyHeart101 posted 3/22/2021 20:09 PM

Hello ladies, I believe the last time I posted was in December and I said my husband and I were divorcing. My last straw at that time was when he cursed me and called me a Bitch. Well in January we decided we would attend marriage counseling. (He only attended
IC one time and after that he said he would only go if the MC told him he needed to) I tried. I thought WE tried. Long story short is we were already preparing to sell our house and now I'm planning to leave once it's sold. He recently sabotaged any progress we had made. He ended up sleeping in the guest bedroom Saturday night after he disrespected me again and in not so many words, blamed me because he didnt have a good time at a going away party we had attended. I'm tired of fighting and trying to reason with a drunk. He works nights M-F. He spent his entire day binge watching Star Trek while I worked from home. I think he's expecting me to try to talk to him about what happened Saturday night and about finishing projects around the house so we can sell. He has plenty of things to do.

Before Saturday I had tried to tell him not only about recent triggers, but about how I'm afraid that when he feels like we are having problems he will decide to "move on". If you remember, I had found last summer where he had watched YouTube videos on picking up women at the gym and how to pick up married women. When I've asked him about it and tried to reason with him, his response was that he thought we were going to get a divorce and he just wanted to move on. ALL of it had been a surprise to me. He had also pretended to be single when we met. His response to that was "you didn't ask me" (if he was married.) He had also sought me out online and that's how we set up our initial date. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with any of it.

Anyhow, I've been following everything on the the thread all these months. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me more.

[This message edited by MyHeart101 at 7:38 AM, March 23rd (Tuesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 3/23/2021 11:26 AM

MyHeart, I think you're saving yourself years of stress and heartache with this decision. You deserve better than this. We're with you on this journey. I guess he's showing you exactly who he is, and that's all you need to know.

BlackRaven posted 3/23/2021 14:46 PM


I'm tired of being told that we don't exist. I am thinking of writing an Op-Ed piece to submit to the Washington Post and am looking for people who would be willing to sign a first name/last initial/location to it.

Here is some interesting info I uncovered:

The World Health Organization in its International Classification of Diseases, ICD-11, does include compulsive sexual behavior. The ICD-11 was endorsed by all WHO members at the 72nd World Health Assembly in 2019.

The American Psychiatric Association is not only unique in its rejection of sexually compulsive behavior, but the current standard is a reversal of its position in the DSM 4.

The reason I'm focusing on the Post is because it had an article that quoted David J. Ley, a clinical psychologist and the author of “The Myth of Sex Addiction,". It didn't mention that he wrote a followup book called “Ethical Porn for Dicks, A Man's Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure. “ I haven’t read it, but according to “Library Thing” that book includes the following:

“Women are being oppressive in demanding that this private vice (porn) be eliminated - and indeed oppressive to those women who actively choose under conditions of informed consent and without coercion to provide it. There is much talk of the 'war on women' but this is a 'war on men' - or rather we have a 'war of all on all' instead of an acceptance and respect for difference and desire.”

(One need only reference the recent letter by Canadian members of parliament that wanted PornHub held responsible for hosting and profiting from mass sexual crime including child rape, trafficking, abuse and assault to question whether his position is simplistic.)

The article also quoted Ley’s occasional co-author, Nicole Prause, PhD,a neuroscientist who was sued for defamation by a porn addict and her Liberos LLC research institute filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

While the Washington Post is usually a balanced publication, it had 700 words devoted to Ley and Prause, and then, in the last 200 words of the story, gave Rob Weiss a few lines to rebut their claims that SA doesn't exist.

Patrick Carnes, who developed the term Sex Addict and started the CSAT certification wasn't interviewed.

I keep thinking that this is like postpartum depression, that people used to claim couldn't possibly exist until a few famous women started speaking out about it.

I think that we deserve support. I think that the Sex Addicts trying to get healthy deserve support. I think that we shouldn't have to fight with insurance companies to get coverage.

Please message me if you have any interest in supporting me in this. FWIW, I'm an award-winning journalist so I'm confident I can write something meaningful.


[This message edited by BlackRaven at 2:46 PM, March 23rd (Tuesday)]

BlackRaven posted 3/23/2021 15:40 PM


He has used pornography and sex as a way to escape from his emotional issues, stress and anxiety, and he is participating in high risk behaviors (affair, not seeing how high risk it was to give me an STD, didn't care if she got pregnant, etc.).

From the Mayo Clinic:

Compulsive sexual behavior is sometimes called hypersexuality, hypersexuality disorder or sexual addiction. It's an excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors that is difficult to control, causes you distress, or negatively affects your health, job, relationships or other parts of your life.

Compulsive sexual behavior may involve a variety of commonly enjoyable sexual experiences. Examples include masturbation, cybersex, multiple sexual partners, use of pornography or paying for sex. When these sexual behaviors become a major focus in your life, are difficult to control, and are disruptive or harmful to you or others, they may be considered compulsive sexual behavior.

No matter what it's called or the exact nature of the behavior, untreated compulsive sexual behavior can damage your self-esteem, relationships, career, health and other people. But with treatment and self-help, you can learn to manage compulsive sexual behavior.

Your husband has PTSD. He is using sex to escape from real life. He has an illegitimate child from his past, but apparently didn't learn from that behavior. No matter if addiction is his primary diagnosis or not, he is using sex in an unhealthy manner and hurting people as a result of his choices.

I hope your IC specializes in Betrayal Trauma. I invite you to join a 12-step group for partners of sex addicts. You will find support and understanding there.

Good luck

MakeMineReal posted 3/24/2021 23:48 PM

MyHeart, I agree with Dee - he's shown you who he is.

The whole "you didn't ask me" bs is so exhausting. I learned to ask questions/phrase things in a way that a prosecuting attorney would envy. That's not how people in a loving relationship should have to communicate.

I say good riddance to him.... It's a long road, but I wish you peace and serenity.

BlackRaven posted 3/25/2021 21:38 PM

Some of you might find this interesting:

Dear Community

At the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that occurred at the shootings in Atlanta. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the victims, and to the Asian community who have already experienced so much racism and prejudice. We want to unequivocally state that having compulsive or addictive sexual behavior should never be used as an excuse for violence, misogyny, racism, or homophobia.

In general, it is uncommon for people who suffer from compulsive sexual behavior disorder, or sex addiction, to exhibit violent behavior. When they do, it is typically directed at themselves, as in the case of self-harm behaviors or suicidal tendencies. However, it is common for these individuals to suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, or antisocial personality disorder, some of which can be associated with violent behaviors. Our belief is that it is unlikely that this shooting incident was a simple case of “sex addiction”. Attributing this act of violence, however, to sex addiction only distracts from the ongoing prejudice, racism, and violence women and people of color experience every day in our country.

Additionally, we want to emphasize that despite a few media outlets erroneously suggesting that compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD), commonly known as sex addiction, is a not “real”, compulsive sexual behavior disorder is, in fact, real legitimate mental illness, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). At IITAP, we stand in support of those in need and feel strongly that de-stigmatization, early recognition and treatment, and access to care are critical in prevention and healing for individuals who are struggling with CSBD and other mental illnesses. Having early and equal access to mental health treatment could be an essential aspect of reducing the incidence of violent acts of hatred and aggression. IITAP is committed to our mission of education on addiction, trauma and mental illness so that all people can have access to compassionate and effective treatment.

Again, in closing, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in this horrific tragedy. We walk alongside you during this time of grief.


Dr. Stefanie Carnes, President

doesitgetbetter posted 3/30/2021 22:08 PM

It’s been a long while since I have posted. I just wanted to share something though. I asked the SAWH last night a couple of questions (we hardly talk about it at all), and he said something about how i am still here because I hadn’t given up on him.... and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am still here because I have given up on me. I have so much work to do on myself, I have had 3 DDays and haven’t done a single thing since DDay 2 dropped. I am a mere shell of myself.

When I told that to him, he began crying hard, probably because he realizes how much this has cost me. I’ve been dealing with his SA for over 13 years now. Most recent DDay was in 2019.

I feel terrible because he is doing great right now. Maybe I realized how much I am lacking right now because of how well he is doing. I need to find me again, I need to find joy again, I need to find a zest for life again.... and Covid certainly hasn’t helped ANY of that.

So, friends, please spam me with your book suggestions, podcasts, blogs to read, whatever, that helped you find yourself and your joy again. I need all the help I can get.

DevastatedDee posted 3/31/2021 09:02 AM

I took advice that I didn't feel like taking after DDay and before I left to try and pull myself out of deep depression. It was basically to date yourself. I love little thrift shops, so I took myself out and visited tons of them. I like nice smelling soaps, bought them for myself. If I were feeling the urge to eat a particular kind of food, I went out of my way to get it for me. I stopped reading anything related to infidelity and read the Harry Potter series for the first time and kept going with sci-fi and fantasy books because I liked those a lot more than I liked infidelity. Pure escapism.

I won't lie, these things didn't really work until I left and was truly just taking care of me. After I left, those things worked exceptionally well. It's hard to find joy when the foundation of your life is soul-sucking. I'm not full of suggestions on how to find peace while living with a sex addict. I never came close to that. Everything nice I did for me was like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound or perfume on a corpse during those months. Maybe those bandaids will help you regain yourself enough to take the steps that will bring you back to a place where you can experience joy. It's far too easy to get entangled with and focused on the SA's problems because those problems have such profound effects on us and put us at so much risk. It's a survival tactic to obsess about what they have going on. It isn't what brings you back to life, though. To thrive, you can't be in crisis mode 24/7 and I didn't know how to not be in crisis mode when living with someone I saw as a danger to my mental and physical health. I still don't know how I'd accomplish that.

gmc94 posted 3/31/2021 09:55 AM

DoesItGetBetter - I just heard an interview with Stan Tatkin on the Helping Couples Heal podcast that resonated (did a post about it in General). I really get alot out of all of their episodes, and this did not disappoint either.

I'm also - slowly - working through living and loving after betrayal by Stosne, and there's a lot of good stuff in there. The focus is the BS and how to find meaning and value in OUR lives.

And I think DevDee makes some good points - self care, etc. Personally, I find that so long as WH and I are living together, MY life seems to be on hold. And I'm just now getting "done" with that.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 2:50 PM, March 31st, 2021 (Wednesday)]

Lionne posted 3/31/2021 14:11 PM

Interesting letter from Dr. Stephanie. We actually had a few sessions with her back in 2009. I liked her. At the time, 12 step work with SAs was tightly aligned with AA. I was told that, because my family life was so dysfunctional, I sought out a partner who would replicate that. It made no sense then and as I learn more about the trauma model, it DEFINITELY doesn't make sense.

The trauma model makes a lot more sense for partners of SA.

I did a considerable amount of research to find out why hypersexuality was removed from the DSM 5. The justification has to do with the inability to do "clean" research, measurable and reproducible. I get it, but it's ridiculous. It serves to deny coverage to those who need it.

Black Raven! HATE that David Ley message. Walk in my mocassins why dontcha!?

I sent you a PM

doesitgetbetter posted 4/1/2021 16:22 PM

I will take a look at that podcast and book, thank you for the suggestions!

I'm certainly not in a place where I even worry about what he's doing or thinking. I am very much in a place where I trust me implicitly and I know that I can spot his behaviors, I am familiar enough with his behaviors to know when he's heading into yellow light territory before he even thinks about a red light action. So I am definitely not worrying about him at all. I am not, however, thinking about me at all.

Don't get me wrong, if I want a certain food or a drink of something, I will absolutely go and get it. I do treat myself from time to time. But I feel like there's not much left alive inside of me.... like I don't wake up and say "oh, this thing is happening today or soon and I'm so excited" or "I want to try this other thing because it sounds so fun". I don't have fun sounding things anymore, most things are just sort of meh. Like I have lost the zest for life... I used to have that, I really did. I do not believe I am depressed as I am not sad about things frequently, but I am not excited either.

What aisle can I find some good "zest" in the Walmart, cause I desperately need some!

Graphite posted 4/2/2021 04:37 AM

I know that feeling well, where can I find zest down the aisle, give it to me now! I completely agree with what Devastated Dee said, and how well she put it, about how you can't really find joy if you are in a soul-sucking situation. Perfume on a corpse is an apt analogy. Living side by side someone is about honouring each other. If they trash and disrespect that privilege, it is very hard to feel a spring in your step and joy in the everyday. Whereas before you had a spontaneous relationship with the everyday, now you are aware of a sick person on the premises who kills the joy before you can get to it just by virtue of their waywardness.
I felt unclean, grey, in limbo, most of the 5 years he was acting out without me knowing, he was blaming our estrangement on depression. Still, I tried to light a candle to myself, treat myself to a sauna, some nice earrings, walks in nature. But the grey always returned. The old formulas didn't work. It's only now he has gone, a year on, that I can have any chance of finding zest again.
Because all my attempts to find joy were living under the same roof as a soul-sucking dark presence.
My ex was and is in complete denial, nothing to work with. Yours may be different.
I would say to you keep honouring yourself in small ways, give your attention and presence to small things and see where that takes you. I think finding joy again after such trauma is a slow burn.
It is a good sign you are aiming high and still looking for zest rather than thinking meh will do.

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